Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Monument to Sound

1936 Raymond Jonson Born: Chariton, Iowa 1891 Died: Albuquerque, New Mexico 1982 pencil on paper mounted on fiberboard sheet: 20 5/8 x 26 1/8 in. (52.4 x 66.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the General Services Administration 1985.65.21 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

The lines and shapes of Monument to Sound suggest an interior space where sound waves take visible form, a sanctuary for the imagination. The artist explained his dedication to abstraction based on science and spiritual values: “Around us we have realism, strife, pain, and greed. I wish to present the other side of life, namely the feeling of order, joy, and freedom. By setting up my own plastic means I can at least thrill to the attempt of establishing some fundamental principles that are universal and enduring.”

Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009



New Deal - Works Progress Administration, Federal Art Project




paper - wove paper